While Congress was hard at work temporarily avoiding a government shutdown and the NFL and the players' union tried their best not to become the sports world's version of Wisconsin, the crack team at Washington Unplugged scoured through endless hours of video to find you the good, bad and just plain strange from the week in Washington.Continue »
On Washington Unplugged, CBS News senior political producer Rob Hendin spoke with Tea Party Patriots co-founder and national coordinator Mark Meckler for reaction to Congress' two-week continuing resolution to fund the government, which would cut $4 billion in spending and, for the time-being, prevent a government shutdown.
When asked for comment after House Speaker John Boehner said in a news conference Wednesday that there's no threat of a government shutdown, Meckler told Hendin, "I mean initially, that's just pathetic. Basically what he's saying is we're here to do some serious negotiations but before we start we'd like to look like we gave up. I'm stunned that he would say something like that."
Meckler thinks Republicans are conceding to the demands of President Obama and Democrats.
"People are not really concerned about a government shutdown," Meckler noted, "In fact, I think there are a lot of people who would be happy to see the government shutdown for a few days."
The Tea Party movement wields influence within the Republican Party and is likely to be crucial to the success or failure of potential GOP presidential candidates in 2012. Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who's considered a likely contender for the nomination, released (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20037681-503544.html?tag=mncol;lst;1) an ad Tuesday courting the Tea Party in dramatic fashion.Continue »
It wasn't just man versus machine Monday night here in Washington but congressman versus machine as Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) took on IBM's Watson along with fellow members of Congress during a mock exhibition Jeopardy match in Washington.
Holt told CBSNews.com's Lauren Seifert the day after his victory "I think Watson was having a low-voltage night."Continue »
Governor Scott Walker's controversial budget measure that would strip most public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights moved forward in the wee hours Friday morning, when Wisconsin Republicans surprised Democrats by abruptly ending debate and passing the bill through the state assembly before Democrats could stop them.
On Friday's live edition of Washington Unplugged, Wisconsin representative Peter Barca, the Democratic leader in the state assembly, gave CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante his impression of what happened.
"It was quite a scene last night in the capitol," Barca said. "[Republicans] trampled on democracy though throughout the day and really throughout this past week."
Barca said he was amazed that Republicans could pass the bill even as thousands protested outside the statehouse. He told Plante, "People are outraged that their governor and other legislators are willing to take away their rights to collectively bargain at every level."Continue »
As the debate over Planned Parenthood continues in Washington, Chloe Heitnz, a 22-year-old recent college graduate, took to YouTube to explain how Planned Parenthood helped her at one of the darkest moments of her life. On Thursday, she shared her story with Washington Unplugged.
In the video Heintz explains how she was raped by a boyfriend when she was 17. As she explained to CBSNews.com's Lauren Seifert during the interview, "It was a pretty violent situation... And afterward it took a long time for me to develop a coherent way of thinking about that experience."
Heintz did not get pregnant as a result of the assault, but she was given a pregnancy test and tested for STDs at Planned Parenthood.Continue »
Muammar Qaddafi has spent nearly four decades as the leader of Libya, but as protests in the country turn violent, CBS News senior national security analyst Juan Zarate notes the long history between Qaddafi's takeover in 1969 to today's revolt from his nation's people.
As Zarate told CBS News justice correspondent Bob Orr on Wednesday's Flash Points, Qaddafi has seen the impact of successful protests in Egypt and Tunisia and will do whatever it takes to not become the latest casualty of Middle East cries for democracy and freedom from authoritarian rule.
"He's learned lessons of history," Zarate said. "I think the lesson he's learned at least in the short term, you need to shut off the TV, shut down the Internet, and crack down very hard and violently."
Qaddafi, with his outrageous comments, actions, and even his style, has in some ways come to personify the way many perceive Libya. As Zarate told Orr, "He almost has a cult of personality. This is really in some ways his country as he perceives it."
When Orr noted that the peaceful protests in other nations throughout the Middle East have not translated to Libya's fight, with hundreds killed since protests began, Zarate offered a grim assessment. "I think there's going to be more blood on the streets of Tripoli before this is all over," he said.
Watch this week's Flash Points above, also featuring the latest on the tragic killing of four Americans by Somali pirates, and continuing developments in the arrest by the Pakistan government of Raymond Davis.
The week in quotes: Obama's flub, Boehner's "so be it", Coulter's call for more "jailed journalists" (VIDEO)
It seems like just yesterday when President Obama made a slip of the tongue he would rather forget. Actually, it was Tuesday during his budget news conference, but you don't need to keep track when the folks at Washington Unplugged have done all the hard work so you don't have to.
Who could forget John Boehner's "so be it", Ann Coulter's request for more "jailed journalists" and President Obama's accidental "Caddyshack" reference at his America's Great Outdoors ceremony?Continue »
On Washington Unplugged, former Senators Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) spoke with CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford about the possibility of a government shutdown -- which could happen in a matter of weeks if Congress fails to agree on a bill to fund government operations for the rest of the year.
Both men, now senior policy advisers with Arent Fox LLP, were in the Senate during the last government shutdown in December 1995, when the Republican-led Congress could not agree with President Bill Clinton on a spending bill. Bennett reacted critically and told Crawford, "I think the last shutdown was a serious mistake... The Republicans came out of that looking like petulant children." Continue »
During a question and answer session at the Conservative Political Action conference Saturday, conservative commentator Ann Coulter was asked what is more important to America's values: maintaining a strong relationship with Israel or "knowing there are jailed dissidents and journalists."
"What do you mean, 'knowing that there are jailed journalists?'" Coulter answered. "I think there should be more jailed journalists."
Coulter received a raucous round of applause from the audience for her response.Continue »
It's been nearly 7 years since he passed away and over 20 years since he left the White House, but as what would have been Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday approaches this Sunday, CBS News veterans reflect on the moments they remember most during the 8 years they covered his presidency.
White House correspondents Mark Knoller, Bill Plante and Peter Maer, along with now Deputy Bureau Chief Jim McGlinchy spoke with Washington Unplugged about their favorite memories from "The Gipper."Continue »
Freshman Senator and Tea Party favorite Mike Lee (R-Utah) is one of the 47 senators who've signed on to co-sponsored Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) bill to repeal the health care law signed by President Obama last year. Lee is also one of the founding members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, along with Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and DeMint.
Lee, appearing on Washington Unplugged on Tuesday, said he remains hopeful that the Supreme Court will uphold Monday's ruling from Florida federal judge C. Roger Vinson that the health care law is "unconstitutional."
"I think it's somewhat likely that that will be the ruling in the Supreme Court," he told CBS News senior political producer Jill Jackson. "I think Congress overstepped it's authority under the Commerce Clause and the district judge ruled correctly to that effect and I think that is the most likely outcome at this point."
Jackson asked Lee if he thinks DeMint's legislation has chance of being voted on in the Senate, considering the Democrats' opposition.Continue »
Sen. Mark Udall's (D-Colo.) idea for bipartisan seating has sparked a wave of support from both parties in anticipation of President Obama's State of the Union address tonight.
In an interview with CBS News Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes on Washington Unplugged, Udall opened up that part of his motivation stemmed from the tragedy in Tucson that seriously injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
"Many of us know Gabby Giffords, many of us know what a spirited legislature she is, many of us know what a pragmatist she is, and someone who looked for common ground," Udall told Cordes.Continue »
The Republican Study Committee, a group of 165 conservative members of the House, announced Thursday a sweeping plan to slash $2.5 trillion in federal spending by 2021. And while lawmakers are eager to cut the massive budget deficit, questions were quickly raised about the impact of the spending cuts on the economic recovery.
On Friday's Washington Unplugged, CBS News' Bob Orr spoke with committee member Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.). Orr asked how the committee plans to make sweeping cuts without hurting the economy.
Lankford responded by asking: "What's more important?"
He continued: "To start pulling down our debt, or continuing to spend at our current levels? We've got to start stabilizing our economy and one of the ways you stabilize the economy is by not having such a heavy debt load."Continue »
"We're targets," he told Plante, "I'm not so much concerned about myself as I with those who would be around me, whether it's people I work with, whether it's family, but it is also a constitutional right."
Gohmert continued, "Washington, D .C ., is a federal enclave, it will not usurp any states rights, and we have the right to legislate within the District of Columbia. So it's just using our constitutional right."Continue »
"It's a remarkable video for several reasons," Ambinder said. "If you look at the video, and you look at the scope of what she says, it's almost presidential-esque. "
Ambinder noted to CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante that her response before President Obama's scheduled remarks Wednesday evening elevates her status as a prominent Republican, "I think it makes her the most prominent Republican, in a sense, to respond or to 'prespond' to what President Obama is going to say tonight."Continue »